Dental Solutions for Sleep Disordered Breathing [Apnea]

If you have had complaints about your snoring, or find you’re tired and have no energy, it may be due to SDB which can lead to many serious health problems. Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is a category of sleep disorders also known as Sleep Apnea, the most common form of SDB is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Dentists trained in Dental Sleep Medicine work with patients and their primary care physicians to diagnose and develop treatment plans that include oral appliances, therapeutic treatments and sometimes surgery. Screening for OSA is convenient. In this section, you’ll find out how you can get your energy, health and life back on track! Using this information you can find out what treatments are available and what to expect. Don’t delay, call your dentist for a consultation if you suspect you have Sleep Disordered Breathing. Studies show that Dental Solutions for SDB have an 81% success rate.

Patients with SDB display symptoms need immediate treatment. Breathing actually stops many times during the night in patients with Apnea. Your dentist is your first line of defense against loss of health when Apnea is diagnosed because dental treatment options are successful in treating SDB. Snoring and SDB are not the same.

95% of SDB sufferers don’t know they have it. Children and Adults can have SDB. There a several types of OSA, we’ll talk about them in these sections.

Dentists play an important role in helping patients diagnose and find treatment for this group of disorders. SDB affects millions people, some estimates put the number at over 40 million that’s 1 in 5! Find out if you have SDB.

When left untreated, SDB increases the chances of serious health risks leading to reduced quality of life and long-term health problems. Your Dentist and your primary care provider can help you find the right sleep study or lab to perform diagnostic testing for SDB.

In this section you can find out what Apnea is, whether you have SDB, when you should seek treatment and how your Dentist can treat SDB.

When health-restoring sleep is lost, the risk for these health problems increases:

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Heart Attack
  • Strokes
  • Irritability
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Loss of Concentration

Children with Apnea do not show the same symptoms as adults, for example they may not snore like adults do. When Apnea is left untreated in children, they suffer risks that may lead to:

  • Slow Development
  • Abnormal Growth
  • Learning Problems
  • Heart Problems
  • An Overall Failure to Thrive

Treatment options depend on the severity and causes of SDB. After diagnosis, you will consult with your Dentist to determine the best treatment for your personal health.

It is fairly normal for most of us to snore from time to time, especially if we are tired.

The rattling sound we hear in people who snore is actually caused by the vibration of tissues in your throat, such as the soft palate and uvula (the small finger-like projection hanging in the back of the throat).

Some people, however, actually have a minor defect in their throat tissues. The defect prevents the proper amount of air from entering the windpipe. This condition is called sleep apnea. Restricted airways are caused by many things, such as an abnormally large uvula, blocked nasal passages, a poorly developed lower jaw, and in more serious cases, polyps, cysts, or a deviated septum.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a more serious form of sleep apnea. People with chronic conditions like this often suffer from restless sleep, and can develop more serious conditions such as high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and even congestive heart failure.


Do You or a Loved One Snore?

Snoring can double or even triple the risk for a stroke.

A Yale University School of Medicine study published in the November 2005 New England Journal of Medicine reports that Sleep Apnea (sleep disturbed breathing) more than doubles the chances of a stroke or death. The Yale study found that severe cases of sleep apnea can more than triple the risk of stroke or death. This risk is reported to be independent of other cardiovascular risks.

People with sleep apnea often don’t realize they have it, since they don’t remember waking up again and again, gasping for breath. Frequently, someone else hears the choking and “industrial-strength snoring,” says Klar Yaggi, a sleep specialist at Yale who led the study.

Fifty percent of middle-aged and older adults have the disorder to some degree due to throat muscles relaxing and closing off their airway as they sleep. They then wake up with a jolt, gasp for air, and fall back to sleep over and over again.

Research is underway to understand better the process by which the body wakes itself up to breathe. Spikes of adrenaline course through the body when breathing stops, increasing blood pressure. This is an automatic body response to repeated plunges in the level of oxygen in the blood as a result of the blocked airway.

Treatments for sleep apnea include weight loss, the use of a breathing machine called a “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure” or “CPAP” machine, and wearing a custom-made device in the mouth to keep the airway open during sleep. The loss of weight and treatment by a doctor who treats sleep apnea can restore a good night’s sleep and eliminate considerable stress on your body from oxygen deprivation and adrenaline surges.